It’s Beatles day! This day in 1964, the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, their stardom in North America assured. And this is the 3rd annual celebration of that day here on the ‘Bin of (I can’t believe it). So, let the very nerdy celebration begin!
As a sort of companion piece to an earlier post of mine, Beatles ’71. That post told the tale of the Beatles taking a break in 1969, re-defining their band for themselves by taking the pressure off with concurrent solo careers, and putting out an album to follow up Abbey Road in 1971. Here is another in the possible series of fantasy Beatles albums, thought up entirely by me. Of course, if that earlier post indulged in major revisionist history, then this one multiplies that by ten. In the real timeline of course, Lennon was killed in the street in 1980. Not so in this timeline, friends. That’s a pretty big barrier to overcome. But, that’s the great thing about fantasy, right?
Here’s the story so far. Besides solo careers, The Beatles released material very sporadically after Beatles ’71. By this time, the Beatles were a hobby band, a refuge rather than a millstone for the four men who created it. So, they took their time with the Beatles, enough to make sure that the Beatles were, above all things, fun for them.
So, after Beatles ’71 they put out a double-A side single in “Junior’s Farm/#9 Dream” in 1974. Then, they release a double live album in the year of double live album releases, 1976. Their last studio album, Free As A Bird is released in 1980. After that, Harrison ducks out of the music business for most of the 1980s to concentrate on his film company. And the Beatles never re-emerge on LP before Harrison’s death in 2001, although a new double A-side single is released in 1987 to celebrate the 20th anniversary release of Sgt. Pepper (‘When We Was Fab“/”Once Upon A Long Ago“). Another double A-side single is released 1994 in celebration of the Anthology project.
But, while The Beatles are on hiatus, Lennon and McCartney record a very special TV show on MTV and a parallel album in 1993, the 30th year anniversary of the release of their first number one song and album. The concert would be at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The duo gathered a band, mostly on McCartney’s recommendation, but with Lennon’s approval. And it is decided that since this is a celebration of the two young composers they once were, the material on the album is centered on the fruits of their earliest work, plus some of their favourite R&B covers that helped to inspire them.
The setting of the album is subdued and casual, and of course acoustic and live in front of an intimate crowd. The proceedings are punctuated with humour and of the reminiscing of that earliest period of their careers.
Here is that record!
Lennon & McCartney: 30th Anniversary Unplugged
John Lennon – Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Paul McCartney – Vocals, guitar
Robbie Mckintosh – guitar
Pino Pallidino – Bass
Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens – piano, accordion
Alan White – drums
- Love Me Do
- Please Please Me
- I Call Your Name
- Some Other Guy
- There’s A Place
- Things We Said Today
- If I Fell
- All My Loving
- Baby’s in Black
- Money Honey
- Hippy Hippy Shake
- Not A Second Time
- I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
- Soldier of Love
- Ask Me Why
- Yes It is
Of course, the Beatles Anthology project would be broadcast the next year, with Lennon of course giving new interviews and fresh insights to the proceedings. A new double A-side single from the Beatles is released in celebration. A tour is considered, briefly. But, Harrison holds out, and the others decide concentrate on their personal lives, as a phase of the Beatles as an entity enters what they call its “twilight years”. All of this despite huge offers for world tours and record deals.
Solo careers continue, and among other projects, McCartney and Lennon record another live album together.
Lennon records an album with Wilco as his backing band …
Anyway, before I get carried away, what’s your take, good people? Any songs that should be in the running order that I missed? Indulge yourself!